Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted Sunday that his largest coalition partner would soon be out of the government.
Responding to a claim by Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar that Kadima was looking to abandon the coalition, Netanyahu said there was “a lot of truth” in his statement.
“Kadima wants to dissolve the coalition; it’s all a game,” said Sa’ar (Likud) during a cabinet meeting on Sunday, referring to the controversial, ongoing and so-far unsuccessful talks to draft a new universal conscription law to replace the Tal Law, which was declared unconstitutional by the High Court and is due to expire on August 1.
Kadima and Likud lawmakers have struggled for several weeks to draft a new law, coming to loggerheads over issues of who will have to serve when, and punishments for draft-dodgers.
Legislating a universal draft was a central condition of Kadima’s dramatic move from the opposition to the coalition two months ago following the election of Shaul Mofaz as Kadima head.
Lawyers for Mofaz and Netanyahu were to meet later on Sunday in another attempt to resolve the issue. Although Kadima has threatened to leave the coalition over the draft law, it is widely believed that the party prefers to find a solution that will allow it to remain in the government.
Also on Sunday, President Shimon Peres met with Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in Jerusalem for a discussion of the draft issue. Peres said there was a need for a “true solution”; all must bear the burden, he said, but nevertheless the yeshiva world must also be preserved.